By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)
Marguerite Jackson’s testimony in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial might have changed the course of history, but the jury will never hear it.
Even though Judge Steven O’Neill allowed testimony from Andrea Constand’s neighbor, who said the Cosby accuser wasn’t herself after the alleged incident, O’Neill refused to allow Jackson to testify.
So, Jackson, whose statement was issued to the court on November 20, 2016, permitted Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt to read what the jury may have considered compelling testimony.
Jackson, a student adviser at Temple University where Constand worked as director of basketball operations for the women’s basketball team, said she had regular contact with Constand and, as a result, the two became fast friends.
“I traveled with the team approximately six times. On each occasion, Andrea and I shared a hotel room,” Jackson said, in the statement. “Although I cannot recall the specific year, there was an occasion I recall the television was on. We were watching the news.”
The statement continued: “There was a news story of a high profile individual, who was accused of drugging women and sexually assaulting them. It was a well-publicized case. The news story peaked Andrea’s interest. She told me that something similar had happened to her. I was shocked.
Jackson said that she asked Constand if she had filed charges.
“She said she hadn’t. I asked her why and she said, that like the story on the news, the person who had drugged and done something to her sexually was a high profile person,” Jackson recounted.
Jackson’s statement continued: “I responded, telling Andrea that it didn’t matter who the person is, she should have reported it. I think I asked Andrea if what she was saying really happened. Her response was that it had not happened, but she could say it happened and file charges, file a civil suit, get the money, go to school and open a business.
“Andrea and I never discussed the matter again. It was about a year later that Andrea left Temple then I learned she went to the authorities and claimed that Bill Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted her. I wasn’t shocked since, this was exactly what Andrea said she could do, and so she did.”
Judge O’Neill denied Cosby’s lawyers a chance to call Jackson as a witness, saying that her testimony was hearsay. Jurors on Tuesday continued to deliberate the fate of the comedian, who could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the three counts of indecent aggravated assault against him.